The 2017 Emmy Award nominations are out, and HBO is at the front of the pack (yet again) but not thanks to usual heavy hitter "Game of Thrones." This year it's all about "Westworld" and "Big Little Lies." Meanwhile there are plenty of battling co-stars in different categories, which is pretty on brand for FX's "Feud." Both Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange received a nomination for lead actress in a limited series or movie. And Sterling K. Brown and Milo Ventimiglia are competing against each other for lead actor in a drama series for "This Is Us."

Netflix leads a 'sea change' in the TV landscape as streaming services pile up Emmy nominations

"The Crown" and "Stranger Things" (Netflix)
"The Crown" and "Stranger Things" (Netflix)

After radically altering the way viewers have consumed television, streaming video platforms led by Netflix have now conquered the Emmy Awards nominations.

Four out of the seven nominations in the prestigious drama category for the 69th Emmy Awards announced Thursday aired on online streaming platforms.

Netflix claimed three nominations with “House of Cards,” “The Crown” and “Stranger Things," while Hulu scored its first nomination with “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Two drama nominees aired on cable TV — AMC’s “Better Call Saul” and HBO’s “Westworld” — and one, NBC's “This Is Us,” aired on a broadcast network.

Cable and broadcast networks still owned the bulk of the nominations, with perennial leader HBO topping the list with 111. But Netflix, with 91 — up from 54 in 2016 — was not far behind, outdistancing FX, which was fourth, with 55, after setting a record for an ad-supported cable network in 2016 with 56.

I think it’s a sea change. In our daily dialogue we no longer use the term network. We talk about platforms that deliver content. We are definitely in a different TV universe now.

Warren Littlefield, executive producer of "The Handmaid’s Tale"

Samantha Bee talks her show's multiple Emmy nods and the healing power of 'Call the Midwife'

 (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

One of three alumni of "The Daily Show" to be nominated in the variety talk category, Samantha Bee and her weekly series "Full Frontal" have become required viewing for those in search of the sharpest political satire on television. Here she talks about her nominations, which also included a variety special nod for her show's "Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner."

How are you feeling about the nominations for "Full Frontal"? 

Hold on. Jason [Jones] bought be this giant bucket of, you know, Gator gum — like Gatorade gum. It’s like a really weird approximation of it. And I chew it obsessively. I have a barrel on my desk. It’s a bucket with 200 pieces of it. OK, I spit it out. 

What a morning. This is really exciting. I’m really happy. It’s not the reason why you do television. But it is a beautiful, exciting acknowledgement of the hard work and the grit that everybody puts into the show, for real. 

"Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner" was nominated too. 

I know! I was really happy about that. We worked so hard on that. We were really proud of it. It’s nice to be recognized.

So set the scene this morning.

I was at the office. We were having a field department meeting. We were talking about possible field pieces. I think everybody at the back of their heads was silently acknowledging that the 11:30 hour had passed. And so, no one was really super focused on the meeting, but also we weren’t watching it or paying attention to it.

And then I heard the little yelp from down the hall. And then Ed, one of the amazing graphics guys, poked his head out and said [does quiet voice], “Nomination received for variety show.”

We took it in and then it took a little while to ramp up the celebration. We felt a sense of relief and gratitude. Then we got really excited. It takes a minute. You have to situate yourself. And then we had champagne. Every quality office has at least a couple of bottles chilling at any time. We popped a couple of bottles. We ordered pizza. Is there any other way to celebrate?

There’s a lot of great political comedy at the moment. Why do you think your show has broken through?

I can’t really get into the heads of Academy members. I do think our show just broke through the noise a little bit. I think people responded to it. We have such a strong point of view, I think people responded to that, and we’ve had amazing attention from the press, so that’s been really gratifying and that’s certainly helped our cause.

Our dinner was more high-profile than we ever thought it could have been. The political climate has set the table for us a little bit, and we’ve tried to step up to the challenge. And so here we are. I’m just happy. I’m just excited. I don’t really know what to say. I haven’t really had this experience. We were nominated last year for writing, but this is nice, the overall recognition. It feels like a great next step. 

It’s a year for a lot of shows about women in general. Have you caught any of them? 

Yeah, I love “The Handmaid’s Tale.” It’s so good. I went to see “Wonder Woman” with my daughter and I cried through the whole thing. It has been a tremendous year for women’s stories and I’m happy to be a part of that wave. It’s not a passing fancy. It’s just happening, which is great. There will be more women in late night, which is great. I’m excited to be a part of it. I’m so excited for everyone here, for the whole team. They’re so happy. They deserve recognition. They deserve to go to an awesome party. 

What other shows have you been watching?

I caught up on “Fargo” this year and loved it. I binged it from the beginning. All three seasons. I loved “Orange Is The New Black” this year. I love “Black Mirror,” always. I’m so happy to see “San Junipero” [episode of “Black Mirror”] nominated. 

It’s so dorky, but I watched every season of “Call the Midwife.”  I binged the whole series. It really assuaged a lot of my pain this year. It took me to another time, another place, it’s peaceful and beautiful. I truly loved it. I was so sad when I finished this latest season. I’m not sure I still know what to do with myself. 

Everyone’s got a real can-do attitude, everyone kind of bristles with activity and good will. It’s a palate cleanser. Babies are born, terrible things happen. There’s a lot of elbow grease. I really respond to that. Midwives on bicycles. Nuns. I love everything with nuns. I just love nuns.

It doesn’t seem relaxing that a show about nuns and midwives would be just the tonic that I needed at the end of the day. But I really did cry when I was done. 


Photos from 'The Handmaid's Tale,' 'Atlanta' and other top Emmy nominees

Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale" earned thirteen nominations. (George Kraychyk / Hulu)
Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale" earned thirteen nominations. (George Kraychyk / Hulu)
FX's "Atlanta" picked up six nominations. (Quantrell D. Colbert / FX)
FX's "Atlanta" picked up six nominations. (Quantrell D. Colbert / FX)
NBC's "Saturday Night Live" earned twenty-two nominations. (Will Heath / NBC)
NBC's "Saturday Night Live" earned twenty-two nominations. (Will Heath / NBC)
HBO's "Westworld" tallied twenty-two nominations. (John P. Johnson / HBO)
HBO's "Westworld" tallied twenty-two nominations. (John P. Johnson / HBO)

Emmy voters find some habits too hard to break — even when they should

Emmy voters can't get enough of Kevin Spacey and "House of Cards." (Netflix)
Emmy voters can't get enough of Kevin Spacey and "House of Cards." (Netflix)

We had the Emmy obits for "Modern Family" and "House of Cards" written. But we forgot. These are the Emmys. Once you're in, it can often be a lifetime membership. "Modern Family" and "House of Cards" both again earned series nominations, meaning they've been nominated for every season they've been on the air. (For those keeping count, that's eight for "Modern Family" and five for "House of Cards.")

These two series nominations were among the bigger surprises of Emmy nomination morning, as was another nod to tradition — the annual rewarding of Bill Maher's "Real Time." Maher dropped a racial epithet right before voting began, and then got royally educated the following week by guest Ice Cube. (That's a guest spot that deserves an Emmy.) But Emmy voters weren't bothered and rubber-stamped Maher's perennial nom, giving him 40 now for his career.

But Emmy morning also delivered plenty of news worth celebrating. Four fine new dramas were nominated for best series. There was some love (but not nearly enough) for Donald Glover’s comedy “Atlanta” and an astonishingly great nomination for Pamela Adlon.


Why the Emmy nomination counts for HBO, NBC, FX and AMC changed

 (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

As we've discussed earlier this week, peak TV makes being an Emmy voter a difficult job. But with this year's crop of nominations, there was also a new wrinkle when it came to total network nominations.

The trouble began just hours after the Emmy nominations field was announced at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. First, NBC released a message indicating that their total number of nominations should be 64 instead of the Television Academy's released number of 60. According to an NBC spokesperson, the discrepancy was the result of the omission of the nominations of two guest actors in a drama series on "This Is Us" in the count for the network and two nominees — "Jay Leno's Garage" and "Behind the Voice" — being misattributed to and YouTube instead of the parent network.

A short time later, FX also adjusted its total of nominations, which the network had as 55 instead of the Emmys' total of 54. As if that weren't enough, HBO also weighed in with its own count discrepancy, noting its total should be 111 instead of the 110 initially announced. 

The reason for all of this confusion, other than the fact we all live in an elaborate computer simulation that is slowly beginning to break down? This year, the Academy had not fully combined Internet-created content with the network totals, which has thrown everything a bit haywire.

In an updated academy-provided table that tallied all the network totals from this year's nominations, a small note had been added, which read, "New tallies include online platforms." As a result, AMC also picked up another for its tally, rising from 12 to 13.

On Friday, a TV Academy representative clarified in a statement: "The Television Academy received a request from several networks to aggregate digital platforms with linear network numbers, something that had not been done in the past. The academy agreed, and the new network tallies are the result. Clearly, the array of platforms would like to leverage the Emmys for their benefit."


1:55 p.m., July 14.: This post was updated with a statement from a TV Academy representative.

This post was originally published at 1:53 p.m., July 13.


How 'The Handmaid's Tale' created its Emmy-nominated, red army of robes

Handmaids at rest. (Ane Crabtree)
Handmaids at rest. (Ane Crabtree)

Long before she was Emmy-nominated for her costume design work on Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale," Ane Crabtree sat down with the Los Angeles Times to discuss her fashion choices on the show.

"The best design is made to solve problems,' Crabtree said of the iconic red dresses worn by the handmaids, going on to explain how the gowns adapt for season and pregnancy.

Crabtree also opened up her sketchpad and shared her process when it came to clothing the world of Gilead.

 (Ane Crabtree)
(Ane Crabtree)

'Lightweight' Tracee Ellis Ross might sip a cocktail tonight to celebrate her second Emmy nod

Tracee Ellis Ross is celebrating her second Emmy nomination. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
Tracee Ellis Ross is celebrating her second Emmy nomination. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Nominated Thursday morning for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series, Tracee Ellis Ross of ABC's "black-ish" spoke exclusively to the Los Angeles Times about her second Emmy nod.

Congratulations! Where were you when you got the news?

What a fun morning! I was sitting on my meditation pillows in my meditation room listening to the birds with a moisture mask on my face. (Laughs.) I decided that watching the live feeds was making me too nervous and uncomfortable, so I wanted to do something that felt better. I opened my eyes and said, "I'll look and see if I get texts. If I get texts, then it means something good and then I can sort of tune in to what's happening." And I looked at, like 8:36 a.m., and there was one text and then as I was about to open it, more started to come in, and I was like, "I think this is a good thing, I think this is a good thing."

So how quickly did your mood change from serenity to excitement?

It was pretty quick. And so I started making phone calls to all my loved ones. I called my parents and then I called my sisters and my brothers, there's so many of us. And then I called my best friends and Kenya [Barris, the show's creator]. It was actually really funny. So I texted Kenya and said, "Congratulations" and I meant to touch the cartwheel emoji, but I accidentally touched the broken heart, and I was like, "Oh, God! No! I don't mean that!" [Laughs].

I'm so excited because these moments are made so much sweeter when you get to share them with your family. And the fact that [co-star] Anthony [Anderson] is nominated for the third time makes it so extra special. And I have to say that I am blown away by the other women in this category! These are women who have not only influenced my personal career, but my life. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are two women that I have revered for so many years of my life. 

What's it like working with someone you have such a close relationship with?

Anthony and I both, I think, are great on our own, but there's something extra special that happens when we're together. But the more that we have this time under our belts, the more that the respect and the love and the safety with each other grows. And I feel like there is something that comes out of me in collaboration with him that I've never seen in myself or my work anywhere else and I love it.

"I'm so excited because these moments are made so much sweeter when you get to share them with your family," says Tracee Ellis Ross. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
"I'm so excited because these moments are made so much sweeter when you get to share them with your family," says Tracee Ellis Ross. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Were you surprised by your nomination?

If you're not surprised, I don't know what you're thinking! (Laughs.) I was surprised and I was nervous. As a kid, as soon as I decided I wanted to be an actor, and even before I decided I wanted to be an actor, I always watched award shows, and I always thought to myself, "My goodness. What an extraordinary moment for that person." And when I became an actor, the idea of winning an Oscar or an Emmy or a Golden Globe, that's the moment, that's the thing. And, of course, my life and my career and who I am as a person is not validated by those things, but the acknowledgment and the excitement of that — particularly for me in the context of the historical aspect as a black woman in this category, the weight and the meaning within that — is extremely special. There's a lot to it that I don't take lightly.

I am blown away by the other women in this category! These are women who have not only influenced my personal career, but my life.

Tracee Ellis Ross

Why do you think people connect with this show?

I think people see themselves in this family both in the love and in the limitations of this family. The willingness on the part of our writers to courageously dive into subject matters that all of us are chomping on and trying to make sense of in this world, this country that we're living in. The fact that it is a multigenerational comedy that touches on so many different kinds of points of view, the writers' amazing ability to unpack the heavier subject matter but in a comedic way, the chemistry between our cast. I feel like there a lot of pieces that work.

How do you plan on celebrating?

My favorite thing to do to celebrate is to enjoy my favorite part of my life, which is cooking, having beautiful food, watching some television and going to bed early. So that is probably what will happen. I did discover I'm not a big drinker in any way, shape or form. I'm more interested in the stemware and the glasses that I drink from than the alcohol that is in them. However, on Instagram I did see a beautiful cocktail in a friend's post that was tequila with rose water and lime. And yesterday I went and bought the ingredients, so perhaps tonight I will make one of those cocktails and celebrate with two or three sips because I'm such a lightweight that I don't know that I could drink a whole glass of tequila.


Pamela Adlon of 'Better Things' doesn't need to win the Emmy; the nomination 'is the thing'

 (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Pamela Adlon has had an impressive career spanning nearly four decades. She earned her first Emmy in 2002 voicing several characters on the animated "King of the Hill," which she worked on for 13 seasons, and notched several other nominations along the way, primarily for her work on "Louie."

 But it was the FX star's lead actress nod for her semi-autobiographical family comedy "Better Things" on Thursday that had her "hysterically crying," she said in a phone interview with The Times.

Have you stopped crying yet?

Oh, my God. I just stopped. I’ve been hysterically crying all day.

How did you find out about the nomination?

I almost found out I got nominated from you because I got an email that said @glennwhipp and you wrote that beautiful thing about the Emmys. Just before that, my manager FaceTimed me. I can’t believe it. I’m stunned. I’ve been working my whole life as an actor and to be recognized as an actor is just amazing. I’m in the lead actress of a comedy category? That’s unbelievable to me. I’m stunned.

Nothing can top the way I feel in my heart and my spirit right now. It just feels really good. Never in a million years did I feel something like this could happen to me. I don’t have to win anything. This is the thing.

They told me you’re at an airport. Where are you?

I’m on my way back to L.A. I’m in Baltimore. I was making a movie called “All Square” with Michael Kelly from “House of Cards.”

He got nominated too. That’s going to be a good movie.

He did? Michael Kelly? Shut up!

You dedicated the show to your daughters. What do they think of your nomination?

Two of them are in school, and one of them is in Italy. And we have a family text thread, and my youngest daughter just wrote in all caps, “SHUT THE … UP.” (Laughs.) That’s pretty much the sentiment all around for the people in my world. I’m so happy. And now more people will watch my show, which is the greatest thing ever.

This has been a great TV year for women and women’s stories. How does it feel to be recognized for being part of that?

I think everybody is a little bit raw right now, the way the world is and what’s happening. When my show’s finale aired after the election, people told me, “You’re talking about this time right now. Thank you.” This has always been a part of me, but just right now, it feels like the perfect moment.

How are you going to celebrate when the plane lands?

I’m going to be with my daughters. I’m going to finish my post and editing and cook for my family.

What’s your celebratory dish?

Caribbean chicken. Avocado pasta. Hey … maybe I’ll do a cookbook next. (Laughs.)


How Nancy Cartwright's Emmy nomination is technically a first for her 28 years of work on 'The Simpsons'

Nancy Cartwright (Valley Performing Arts Center)
Nancy Cartwright (Valley Performing Arts Center)

A nomination more than 28 years in the making: "The Simpsons" voice actress Nancy Cartwright on Thursday scored her first Emmy nomination for her legendary work as Bart Simpson (and various other "Simpsons" characters). 

It is not, however, Cartwright's first Emmy nomination. That came in 2004, for her work on "Kim Possible."

And if she wins this time, it technically won't be Cartwright's first Emmy for voicing the trouble-making Simpson son either. 

In 1992, the Primetime Emmys introduced an award for voice-over performance, an honor that was originally bestowed by jury selection to multiple, single or no winners in a given year. The academy continued the practice through 2008 before switching to the traditional nomination practice.

In the category's inaugural year, the award was given to six voice actors from "The Simpsons": Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Jackie Mason, Yeardley Smith and Marcia Wallace. So she was never nominated for her past "Simpsons" work, just awarded.

Since then, the voice-acting honors have further diversified, in 2014 splitting into two categories: voice-over performance and narrator.

Though many "Simpsons" actors have been recognized by the Emmys in the years since, Cartwright has not been among them. 

Neither, for that matter, has Yeardley Smith.

Justice for Lisa Simpson in 2018!

Will Shannon Purser's Emmy nomination for 'Stranger Things' finally silence the #JusticeForBarb advocates?

Shannon Purser in "Stranger Things." (Curtis Baker / Netflix)
Shannon Purser in "Stranger Things." (Curtis Baker / Netflix)

Things are finally looking up for Barb. 

"Stranger Things" was among the top nominees Thursday morning when the Television Academy announced the 2017 Emmy nomination. Netflix's creepy sci-fi series earned 18 nods, including a nomination in the coveted drama series category. 

Shannon Purser, who played fan-favorite character Barb, was nominated for guest actress in a drama series in a field that also includes Alison Wright (“The Americans”), Alexis Bledel (“The Handmaid’s Tale.”), Cicely Tyson (“How to Get Away With Murder”), Ann Dowd (“The Leftovers”) and Laverne Cox (“Orange is the New Black”). 

"Stranger Things" fans could not contain their excitement upon learning of Purser's nomination, with many seeing the nod as Barb finally getting the justice she deserves. Many took to Twitter to celebrate. 

Of course, Twitter being Twitter, there is always someone ready to spoil the party. 

Hopefully the Emmy nomination will keep Barb fans satisfied until Netflix releases Season 2 of "Stranger Things" on Oct. 27.


And multiple Emmy nominations go to Donald Glover, Ann Dowd, Liev Schreiber ...

Donald Glover in "Atlanta." (Matthias Clamer / FX)
Donald Glover in "Atlanta." (Matthias Clamer / FX)

Several of Thursday's Emmy nominees were awarded not one, but multiple nominations for their TV work. 

For some, it's a credit to the wealth of work available in television. For others, it's a testament to their multi-hyphenate abilities. Below are this year's actors who are up for Emmy Awards in more than one category.

Riz Ahmed: English rapper Riz MC is nominated for lead actor in a limited series or movie for his portrayal of Nasir "Naz" Khan, a Pakistani American student accused of killing a woman, in HBO's "The Night Of." The "Star Wars" Rogue One" star is also up for guest actor in a comedy series for his turn as Hannah's surf instructor, Paul-Louis, in HBO's "Girls."

Aziz Ansari: The "Master of None" is showing that he's a master of more than one craft. In addition to his lead actor in a comedy nod, the "Parks and Recreation" alum is also nominated as a writer on his Netflix series.

Alec Baldwin: In the year of "'Saturday Night Live' versus Donald Trump," Baldwin consistently made headlines for his portrayal of the president. Baldwin is up for supporting actor in a comedy series as well as hosting ABC's reality-competition series "Match Game." (Fun fact: The episode of "SNL" Baldwin hosted has three other Emmy nominations --  production design, outstanding makeup and prosthetic makeup -- as well.) 

Ty Burrell: The two-time Emmy winner and "Modern Family" fixture is again nominated as a supporting actor for his ABC comedy, as well as for actor in a short-form comedy or drama series, for "Boondoggle."

Ann Dowd: The formidable Aunt Lydia is nominated for her supporting work in Hulu's rookie drama "The Handmaid's Tale," and her turn as Patti Levin in HBO's "The Leftovers" earned her a guest actress in a drama nod.

Donald Glover: Childish Gambino and the upcoming Lando Calrissian is up for lead actor in a comedy series for his FX series "Atlanta." He also earned nods for directing and writing the Georgia-set comedy.

Ewan McGregor: Nominated for lead actor in a limited series or movie for FX's "Fargo," McGregor also scored nominations for narrating Nat Geo Wild's docu-series on his homeland, "Wild Scotland."

Matthew Rhys: He's played master spy Philip Jennings in five seasons of FX's "The Americans" (and this is his second nod in the lead actor category). However, the academy took notice of his guest-actor stint, giving him a nomination for his turn as a literary icon accused of sexual assault on HBO's "Girls."

Liev Schreiber: Showtime's "Ray Donovan" star has been perennially nominated in the lead actor in a drama category, but this year he's competing against himself in the narrator category for lending his voice to HBO's sports documentaries "Muhammad Ali: Only One" and "UConn: The March To Madness."

See the complete list of 2017 Emmy Award nominees here.

Emmy nominee Jessica Lange calls Joan Crawford 'a great part' in 'Feud: Bette and Joan,' but she doesn't miss her

Susan Sarandon, left, as Bette Davis and Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford in "Feud: Bette and Joan." (Kurt Iswarienko / FX)
Susan Sarandon, left, as Bette Davis and Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford in "Feud: Bette and Joan." (Kurt Iswarienko / FX)

A revered actress and three-time Emmy winner, Jessica Lange was perhaps a shoo-in for this year's crop of nominees. After portraying Joan Crawford in Ryan Murphy's miniseries "Feud: Bette and Joan,” Lange earned her eighth Emmy nod, and she will be competing against co-star Susan Sarandan in the lead actress in a drama category.

It’s already midday for you in New York. What’s the morning been like so far?

It’s been a little hectic. But it’s so exciting. I’m so thrilled – and I’m thrilled about it for everybody involved.

What was it like to play such a complicated character as Joan Crawford? And what does this nomination mean to you?

You know, it was such a great part. And the part ended up meaning so much to me. Because I hadn’t, going into it, known that much about Joan Crawford and her history, and how she came up and the hard knocks, and what drove her. And suddenly, the part kind of opened up into this great, classic role with really tragic overtones. She became a character I really loved playing. So to be acknowledged – it makes it somehow more special.

Also, the fact that for Crawford, in the end after her death, to have the book “Mommie Dearest” and the movie done, it cast a shadow on her legacy that I always felt was somehow unfair. Because she was never able to respond in her lifetime. I feel like what we did with this was to approach it as honestly as we could from the research and everybody involved, and what we were able to do in those eight episodes was to create a complete picture of her.

Was the “Mommie Dearest” episode difficult for you?

They were all so emotional. It was such a huge, emotional character. That’s what I loved about it. I loved the idea that we could discuss her childhood and the violence and the poverty and the abuse. That was very important to me because it was my jumping-off point to the character.

It always is difficult – any time you play such extreme emotions, it takes its toll. But the longer you do it, the easier it is to move in and out of it.

How do you leave a character like that behind at the end of the day?

It didn’t exactly work that way. She was kind of with me all the time, I have to say. But I wasn’t home. I wasn’t around family. So it was all right. I was able to live with her.

Do you miss her now?

No, I can’t say that. But I do miss the work, the caliber of work that was done, the writing, the direction, the other actors. That’s what you end up missing at the end of the day.

Do you watch much television – and is there anything you’re inspired by these days?

I don’t. I have three homes and I only have TV in my New York apartment. I usually wait until the academy sends me screeners and then watch that. But I’m not watching anything right now.

What are you reading?

[George Saunders'] “Lincoln in the Bardo," which is very interesting.

What’s next, work-wise?

I’ve got nothing ahead of me right now, at least not for this year. Which is actually a really nice feeling.


First-time Emmy nominee Claire Foy is saving her celebratory 'good ol' drink' for the ceremony

Claire Foy stars as Queen Elizabeth in the Netflix series "The Crown." (Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times)
Claire Foy stars as Queen Elizabeth in the Netflix series "The Crown." (Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times)

Claire Foy was no stranger to period dramas prior to portraying Queen Elizabeth II on Netflix's "The Crown," having played Anne Boleyn in the miniseries "Wolf Hall" as well as a recent revival of "Upstairs Downstairs."

Perhaps that familiarity is what made her performance such a standout on "The Crown," which earned 13 Emmy nominations, including Foy's first in the lead actress in a drama category.

Where are you, sounds like you’re outside?

I am in Hampstead Heath in London, it’s this big park. I was here when I got the news. My publicist was the first to contact me and then it was just loads of people — lots of Americans — were contacting me. It’s the middle of the day there, whereas here, people are having dinner and stuff. It’s been lovely.

How are you going to celebrate?

Uh … I don’t … know. I think I’ll probably just save my celebrating [for] when we actually can all get together at the Emmys and sit down and have a good ol’ drink. I’ll bottle up my celebration until September.

That sounds like something that the Queen would say! That’s a lot of willpower!

Ha! I’ll wait until the big party. I’m not really mad keen with the idea of celebrating myself, that way we can all celebrate each other and pat ourselves on the back.

Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II in Season 1 of "The Crown." (Alex Bailey / Netflix)
Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II in Season 1 of "The Crown." (Alex Bailey / Netflix)

You wrapped production on Season 2. How has it been inhabiting this role? Are people recognizing you, or does the period garb make it easier for you to go unnoticed in real life?

We’ve been so overwhelmed by the reaction the show has received. But I don’t really get stopped on the street, to be honest. But most of the reaction I do get is the frantic question of, "When is the next one coming out?"

I also get people who want to blame you because they lost 10 hours of their life. They’ll be like, “I watched it all in one day!” You’re not really sure if you should say "thank you" or "I’m sorry." It’s quite funny that people want to let you know that you took away their time. It just shows that people really appreciate it and enjoy it.

Going into Season 2, was there a greater ease in channeling her?

I think you could say it was easier, but at the same time, it’s harder in a way because you have to guard against thinking you know everything about her. All the directors and Peter Morgan really kept on top of us because they didn’t want us to rest on our laurels. And the storylines were more in-depth and complicated. We really felt comfortable but at the same time tried not to get too comfortable.

How are the Corgis?

I love the Corgis, but when they’re on set, all bets are off. The Corgis have complete creative control. We let them run free. If they want to take a scene in a particular direction, we’ll follow them.

Who are you excited to see on the big night? I really want a selfie of you with the 'Stranger Things' kids.

Oh, I love them. They’re amazing. And they’re always the life of the parties, as well. It’s ridiculous. They’re there dancing until, like, 3 o’clock in the morning. I feel like an absolute ancient old lady next to them. Like, I’m trying to dance and they’re out there being like Justin Timberlake. And I’m a mother trying to dance next to them. But it would be lovely to see them again.


Nihilistic fans of 'The Leftovers' look for meaning in the show's Emmy snub, find nothing

Justin Theroux and Carrie Coon, neither of whom were nominated for their work on "The Leftovers." (Van Redin / HBO)
Justin Theroux and Carrie Coon, neither of whom were nominated for their work on "The Leftovers." (Van Redin / HBO)

Wherever there are awards awarded and nominations to receive, there are also shows and individuals lost in the shuffle.

There are plenty of great performances and series that were overlooked in this year's crop of Emmy nominations (including "Insecure" and Issa Rae, "Late Night with Seth Meyers" and Oprah Winfrey for "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks") but none got Twitter as riled up Thursday morning as the academy's snub of HBO's "The Leftovers." 

Perhaps it was creator Damon Lindelof's, er, inspiring Instagram promises of a nude Justin Theroux if the star were nominated for an Emmy or maybe it was just public outcry over the lack of recognition for the show's final season, but either way people were feeling all their feelings.

So many feelings that many of the tweets can't be shared due to the language used to convey those feelings.

Here's what we can share, though.

At least "Leftovers" star Carrie Coon scored a nomination for her work on "Fargo," right guys?

Oh come now, there must be some silver lining fans can focus on, other than Ann Dowd's guest actress nomination.

That's the spirit!

Billy Eichner's Emmy nomination is for the show he did all on his own

Billy Eichner (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
Billy Eichner (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Billy Eichner's loud and wild game-show/variety series "Billy on the Street" has been a cult favorite for years. Eichner's hilarious and fearless ability to launch himself at New York pedestrians to ask an endless supply of inane questions launched his career, landing him turns on "Parks and Recreation," "Difficult People," "Friends From College" and the upcoming "American Horror Story." And now "Billy on the Street" has its second prime-time Emmy nomination and TruTV, on which it airs, has scored its first.

We caught up with Eichner to ask  a few questions of our own. 

They tell me we have just 4 minutes. So, quick: current mood? 

 I’m pretty ecstatic. And surprised. Mainly, I’m just very proud of the show and everyone who works on it. The show has had a very unusual trajectory –  a slow growth. Hang on – I’m getting so many text messages, it’s crazy. Friends and loved ones. No word from Nicole Kidman yet – we’re all waiting! But, yeah, it’s been a very slow build – live shows to YouTube and the Internet to a very small cable network to TruTV. It’s been a journey about building awareness for the show while also keeping the show creatively intact. A lot of hard work. Scraping and crawling your way to the top. But it’s been a dream come true. It’s been amazing.

Where are we catching you, by the way? 

I’m in L.A. in my apartment right now, about to go shoot “American Horror Story.” I have to run off to get to set.

This the first nomination in this category for your show – did it come as a surprise? 

 TruTV was incredibly supportive – they got behind a very passionate campaign for the show. So I know there’s a lot of love out there for the show – but it’s a very unique show. It’s not necessarily for everyone. And there are a million shows out there right now; it’s very hard to break through the clutter. But we really allowed the show to evolve. We’ve taken on political commentary.

Do you think that’s part of the show’s success, the current political climate?

Maybe that’s one element. But it’s still largely about pop culture. I think the main thing is a lot of people are familiar with “Billy on the Street” because of the segments of the show that go viral. People watch it online. And it took a while for people to get the full picture of what the show is about. The show is a satire of our political and social obsessions. In the form of this low-fi, improvised show on the streets of New York. 

What’s your favorite part of doing a roaming sidewalk game show?

It’s fun and it’s also the hardest thing I’ll ever have to do in my life. It’s exhausting – literally running around the streets of New York and talking to real people. The most joyful part is that it’s my baby. I created these segments -- it just came out of my head many years ago. I take a lot of pride in that. It must be great to be on “Saturday Night Live” and I love Comedy Central and I appreciate all these comedic institutions; but I didn’t really have anything like that behind me. I really made it happen for myself. It made things harder, maybe – it was a ton of work – but you really appreciate it in a different way. I had to persevere to get this far.  I had to make it for myself. I’m really proud of that.  


Celebrating her first two Emmy nods, Ann Dowd is 'pinching myself'

Ann Dowd in "The Handmaid's Tale." (George Kraychyk / Hulu via Associated Press)
Ann Dowd in "The Handmaid's Tale." (George Kraychyk / Hulu via Associated Press)

It's proving to be a good year for Ann Dowd.

Thursday morning, the actress received not one but two Emmy nominations: supporting actress in a drama series for Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale," and guest actress in a drama series for HBO's "The Leftovers."

This will be her first time going to the Emmys despite a career that spans 32 years. 

Where were you when you got the news?

I was sitting on my bed in North Carolina, where I'm shooting the second season of "Good Behavior." I'm just stunned. I'm pinching myself as we speak.

So you were surprised?

Oh, yes. This morning I knew it was going to be announced, so I cleaned the house and I rearranged the furniture and I changed all the pictures. I'm not even kidding. And I took a little walk around the town house I'm staying in and I said, "Whatever happens, just receive it with grace and know how fortunate you are to be working."

That's honestly what I was doing. And then I went inside and sat down and was watching Wimbledon. I was watching Venus [Williams] play some wonderful young tennis player and I pretended I was playing tennis and got involved... I was trying to distract myself.

And then at about 11:40 a.m. I just texted my publicist and said, "Has it happened?" And he called me and he said very quietly, "You got both." And I quietly flipped because I was so stunned I could barely talk.

Ann Dowd, right, as Patti Levin in a scene with Amy Brennerman in the HBO series "The Leftovers." (Paul Schiraldi / HBO)
Ann Dowd, right, as Patti Levin in a scene with Amy Brennerman in the HBO series "The Leftovers." (Paul Schiraldi / HBO)

How does it feel to finally be recognized after such a long career in the industry?

The overwhelming feeling is gratitude. Because so many actors deserve to be recognized and so many actors work so hard and don't know where their next job is. And to have the great fortune of playing roles like Patti [Levin in "The Leftovers"] and Aunt Lydia [in "The Handmaid's Tale"], there's a great fortune in that. Really, the strongest feeling is gratitude. 

Who was the first person you told?

My husband. He was utterly sweet and lovely and wonderful. My husband and I met in acting school and we've been together ever since, so he knows just what the feeling would be like. And the hopes and dreams we have as actors, he and I share that, and so to be able to talk to him about this was quite extraordinary.

Why do you think viewers connect with these two shows, especially right now?

Well, I think for "Handmaid's," of course, the timeliness, what we're all facing not just in our country but in the world. How wonderful to put a name and a face and a story to those fears and to remind us to pay attention and to stay awake and alert and to not pretend it's not happening. "Handmaid's Tale" offers that opportunity, and that's a fantastic thing. "Leftovers," to me,  is profound in its handling of grief and loss and the nonlinear way that story is told. The power behind it, I don't know that I've ever been more deeply affected by anything than I have been by "Leftovers" and now with "Handmaid's."

How do you plan on celebrating?

You know, I have no idea. Those lovely feelings are just starting to sink in. I'm walking around again barefoot in my sweet little place and just happy, and that's celebration right there.


Same-show nominees will go head to head in a dozen Emmys categories

Reese Witherspoon, left, and Nicole Kidman of "Big Little Lies." (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Reese Witherspoon, left, and Nicole Kidman of "Big Little Lies." (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Call it "Feud: For Real." Or maybe "This Is a Lot of Us." 

Multiple performers from the same casts are going head to head in a dozen Emmy categories this year, meaning that come Sept. 17, a show that's celebrating a performer's win might simultaneously be consoling someone heading home empty-handed. 

Newcomer "This Is Us" is carrying some of that baggage, with both Sterling K. Brown and Milo Ventimiglia up for lead actor in a drama series, and Denis O'Hare, Gerald McRaney and Brian Tyree Henry up for guest actor in the same.

Among supporting actresses, "The Handmaid's Tale" has Samira Wiley and Ann Dowd vying in the drama category, while "Saturday Night Live" has three players in the comedy series: Vanessa Bayer, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon. On the list for limited series or movie, "Big Little Lies" and "Feud: Bette and Joan" have supporting actresses Laura Dern versus Shailene Woodley and Judy Davis versus Jackie Hoffman, respectively. 

"Feud" continued to live up to its name in the supporting actor arena, where Alfred Molina and Stanley Tucci are pitted among the limited series or movie folks, and for actress, where Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon both made the list. 

The latter two also face "Lies" lead actresses Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, while Tucci and Molina will see additional competition from "The Night Of" supporting cast members Bill Camp and Michael K. Williams. Riz Ahmed and John Turturro, both from "The Night Of" as well, are up for lead actor in a limited series or movie.

Female leads from comedies "Grace and Frankie" (Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin) and "Transparent" supporting actresses Kathryn Hahn and Judith Light are all vying for comedy series statues. Supporting "Veep" players Tony Hale and Matt Walsh are in competition, as are Riz Ahmed (again) and Matthew Rhys, actors who both had guest roles on the comedy series "Girls."

Wrapping it all up is the horde of battling "SNL" hosts who pepper the ranks of the comedy series guest-performer categories. For the ladies, Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy got nods, while the gentlemen's list includes Dave Chappelle, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tom Hanks. 

Be warned: Those Emmy after-parties could get a bit awkward. 


Bob Odenkirk, lead actor in a drama nominee for 'Better Call Saul': 'It is a surprise! Come on now'

 (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Bob Odenkirk is the first to admit that there are plenty of great actors and shows on television. Despite the increasingly deep field of contenders, the television academy recognized Odenkirk once again for his role on "Better Call Saul" when the 2017 Emmy nominations were announced Thursday morning. 

Odenkirk was among the nominees for lead drama actor for his portrayal of Jimmy McGill on the AMC series (with the show earning a nod for best drama series). This is the third consecutive year he has been nominated for the role. 

Odenkirk talked to The Times about his nomination, why he considers "Better Call Saul" an underdog and how he plans to celebrate.

Where are we catching you this morning? 

I’m in New York in my hotel room. I’m doing that Steven Spielberg movie called “The Papers” right now. It’s the story of the Pentagon Papers. It’s about government secrets, freedom of the press, who will exercise freedom of the press, about a turbulent time in American politics. It’s extremely timely right now. I wish it wasn’t, but it is.

How are you feeling -- and was the nomination a surprise at all?

It is a surprise! Come on now. Look, you know what’s a surprise? The big surprise is that Michael McKean did not get nominated for “Better Call Saul.” His performance in our show was through the roof, over-the-top brilliant -- in intensity and humanity -- and it was something really, really special. I was surprised he didn’t get noticed.

I’m also surprised to be included -- and the reason is, there is just so many great actors and shows right now. Sheer volume. I feel like we’re still kind of an underdog; maybe it’s just me: all my life feeling where I belong. Our show is a relatively human-sized show compared to some of the productions around us. Obviously, something like “Game of Thrones” is an example of a show that is just massive. The number of characters and the grandness of it. And our show, in relation, is more modest.

What do you think it is about the show, and your character, that so resonated with viewers and the academy?  

It’s a more idiosyncratic show than even “Breaking Bad” was.  There are numerous ways in for “Breaking Bad” -- it was a midlife crisis, a family dealing with the modern economy. With our show, Jimmy has a very distinctive drive and personality and he’s on a very unique path. The way people relate to it --and I’m just guessing here -- is that everybody wants to feel effective in the world. It’s our right to do that. And that’s what he’s struggling to do. I think people can relate to that feeling of trying to find their place in the juggernaut of the American economy and careers. 

What does the rest of your day look like? Will you celebrate?

I’m going to work today. I’ll celebrate, though. I’ll be doing a scene with Matthew Rhys [who scored two nominations]. We’re both in this together. It’s great. We’ll give each other a slap on the back.


'This Is Us' creator on 11 'amazing' nominations for the kind of show not usually in the Emmy conversation

 (Boston Globe / Getty Images)
(Boston Globe / Getty Images)

Dan Fogelman, creator of this season's breakout drama "This Is Us," responded with a mix of joy, exhilaration, surprise and gratitude Thursday to the NBC series' 11 Emmy nominations, including best drama.

You had to have seen this plot twist coming?

I didn’t know it was going to happen! I’ve never done this before. I don’t understand how any of this works. Everyone who works on this show is so normal and kind of regular, from the actors to the writers. This is all a little beyond us. Last night, we were like, this is tomorrow morning, right? What happens? A couple of the writers and some friends that run a production company were following it more online and were telling me what to expect a little bit, or what people were prognosticating. But I really had no idea.

Were you already up? Are you guys shooting today?

Yeah, we’re shooting today. I’ve been up since 5 writing the next episode of the show for Season 2. I actually almost missed it because I was writing and I kind of blanked on the time. My wife was getting ready for work in the bathroom and putting on makeup. I was like, I think they’re about to do it. But we couldn’t figure out how to get the technology to work.

Neither could we, don’t worry.

It was all really confusing. It was basically the least glamorous way of getting Emmy nominations that you could ever imagine.

Is the cast text chain at full throttle right now?

That’s been going off this morning. I texted and emailed all the people who got nominations and those that didn’t. It’s a big family here. Everyone is just so happy for everybody. And the show getting nominated is so amazing.

Will there be a celebration of some sort on set?

There probably should be. I haven't even thought about it. We’re on location today. I have to figure out what I’m supposed to do. I know this sounds cheesy and lame, but I’m not more proud of anyone this morning than I was 24 hours ago. If we were allowed to, we would do this show for free if nobody was watching it. We just love working on it. This is just silly and fun and exciting.

And what does it say about this show and how people are responding to it, particularly in this climate that we’re in?

I think it speaks a lot to our actors who are taking what’s essentially a dramedy and getting it put into conversation [with] serious other shows. They add a weight and gravitas to every one of their performances, even when they're being funny or sweet or sentimental. I think that’s why it's in the conversation. For me, this is the kind of stuff – this show is what I like to do. It’s kind of a populist dramedy, for lack of a better way of phrasing it. Those types of shows aren’t usually in the conversation with the heavier, more serious fare. So just to be seeing the name of our show amidst all these other shows that are darker and weighter and fancier, it’s really exciting for us. We set out to do something that was about people and that everybody can access, but also try to do something that was high quality. To be in the conversation is very rewarding for us.

Who is the most likely to be drunk first on the big night?

Definitely me. This is all coming new to them, except for Sterling. None of us have been here before -- that’s for our crew and cast. I find that our cast, when we started to go to these things, are remarkably centered and elegant and I’m like the drunk train wreck in the corner, just anxious about: What if we happen to win something and I have to go up there and say something? It’s literally the most terrifying thing I can think of. At the Golden Globes, which was really my first time putting on a tuxedo and going to these things, by the time they announced our category, I was so drunk. It would have been a disaster if we had won. I was so nervous and anxious, I don’t know what would have happened.

All the new entrants this year ... 

It’s nice because we’re a new show. I’m sure when we’re an older show, I may feel differently. There’s so much content out there right now; the ones where you feel like you have to get to right away are often the new ones. There’s no doubt that, like, "The Americans" is crushing it. But it’s hard. There’s a lot to watch, too much. And I can understand that frustration for shows that are deep into their runs and don’t get the same recognition. 


'It's really glamorous, kids': Celebs react to their Emmy nominations

The women of HBO's "Big Little Lies." (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
The women of HBO's "Big Little Lies." (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Social media was atwitter Thursday morning following the 69th Emmy nominations announcement. Nominees took to Twitter and Instagram to share their excitement, gratitude and, in "SNL" star Leslie Jones' case, a resolution to "get fine." For "Stranger Things" star David Harbour, it was a glamorous shot reveling at airport security.

Here's a roundup of some of the reactions:

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